Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Groggy bloggin'

I am so tired.

Sorry I haven't blogged in a while. I just haven't felt up to it. I have a tendency to find something I like, go overboard with it, get bored and take a break, then come back at a more healthy pace--pretty sure that's what's going on there. I think I may still be in the break phase, though, because I cannot think of anything interesting to blog about for the life of me!

The weather has been really beautiful here, so I've been spending a lot of time outdoors with the kid. We met my friend Jamie at the park today and we both got sunburned. Usually I'm a big sunscreen advocate, but since it's been probably six months since I needed any, I couldn't find a bottle before I left the house. I should have looked harder. One of my arms is very crispy. Hellooooooo, aloe! Luckily, the kid is 1/4 filipino and had on longer sleeves than I did, so he didn't burn at all.

I met a guy at the park today who I'm not sure what to think about. He is around my age and had a daughter about the same age as my kid, and he kind of latched on to me. We ended up sitting by the duck pond talking while our children threw acorns into the water for about 45 minutes or so, and the whole thing made me uncomfortable--it felt like a first date or something. I would never have even gone down there with him, but when my kid said he wanted to see the geese, this guy overheard and told him that he could share their bread to feed the birds. He kept trying to figure out when he'd see us again.

Does the back of his head give you any indication whether or not this guy is a perv? I just can't tell.

Maybe this guy was actually just looking for a playdate. Am I paranoid? Should I just have given him my phone number so that we could get our kids together. It must be really hard for dads to make playdates for their kids...I got the definite impression that this guy was divorced. Another reason he made me uncomfortable. Eh, I don't know.

I'm tired. I have to go to bed. I really just wanted to write something so that I didn't have such a big hole in my blog. Gotta keep up. Goodnight everyone!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Blah.

I'm feeling really crummy today.

Last night, my great friend Lynette had her baby, which wasn't due to make an appearance until May 2nd! I was up 'till about 1am waiting on updates, being excited for them, etc. and now I've just felt sluggish all day. The baby is a healthy 6 pounds 5 oz, but she is having a little trouble breathing, as is often the case with such early babies, so she's in the NICU for now (in case you were wondering).

The weather here today sucks. It's cold and rainy, and we don't even get any thunder or lightning along with it. I can get on board with a storm if it's at least a thunderstorm, but plain ol' rain is not my idea of a good time.

I'm picking up a friend tonight from the airport at 9pm, and I sure hope her flight is on time. The hubby is working late, so I've spent practically the entire day trying to get the kid down for a nap to ensure that he'll be able to stay awake and go into the airport with me. I would have my friend meet me at the curb, but she's flying in all the way from Germany and I don't want her to have to use her cell phone to make an international call to me if I can just meet her at the gate. LUCKILY, I did finally get the kid down, and he's been out for going on two hours now. Whew!

I guess I should get up and clean, since I'm having a house guest tonight and all. Maybe when the kid wakes up, I'll take him somewhere for a while before heading to the airport. Maybe getting out would do us all a little good.

Sorry for such a boring post. Just had to vent a little. Maybe tomorrow will be better. :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Careful! These things are contagious!

Most of you have probably noticed that there is something going around on the blogs. It won't make you sick, but will probably make you blush. Yes, I'm talking about blog awards. Not long ago, I was awarded a Sugar Doll Award, and now one very sweet Lucky Punk has bestowed upon me the...drum roll please...


Aw, shucks. How sweet!

The rules of this award are thus:

1. Thank the person who gave you this award.

2. Share 7 things about yourself.

3. Pass the award along to 5 bloggers you recently discovered and you think are fantastic!

4. Contact the bloggers you picked and let them know about the award.


Thanks, Lucky!


Now, I don't mean any offense to Lucky or the people who made this or any award, but...why do they always have some version of the same rules? I know that the "things about yourself" lists are pretty fun, but there are only so many things about me that are interesting, and if I keep on listing them, surely one day I will run out (since I plan on getting lots and lots and lots of awards). Also, I tend to over-explain myself. Probably the biggest thing that is standing in the way of me becoming a super-famous blogger is that my posts tend to go on too long for people to stay interested.


My solution to this dilemma is to point you here, to my last award, where I actually listed ten things about me. So you get a bonus THREE things. I know, I know--I'm too generous.


Also, I have decided to create my own award to give out in return. Partly I have done this because I don't follow enough blogs to know five people who haven't gotten that award, but also I would like to see some new rules. Therefore, I present to you, my dear readers....drum roll again, please...




The rules of this award are thus:

1. Get really excited that you got the coolest award EVER.



2. Choose ONE of the following options for accepting the OMB! award:

(a) Get really drunk and blog for 15 minutes straight, or for as long as you can focus.

(b) Write about your most embarrassing moment.

(c) Write a "Soundtrack of your childhood" blog. (click here for an example)

(d) Make your next blog a "vlog", or video blog. Basically, you talking to the camera about whatever.

(e) Take a picture of yourself first thing in the morning, before you do anything else (makeup, brush hair, pee, etc.) and post it.



3. Pass the award on to at least three, but preferably more, awesome bloggers like yourself. Don't forget to tell them (duh).




And it's THAT easy!


So, my first order of business in creating this award is to vlog. I will be doing this tomorrow, but if I don't feel like it, then you should expect an incredibly unflattering picture of me instead.



Now, I shall pass on my award! Here are the lucky recipients:



1. Jackie over at Kids and Bars. I probably shouldn't tell you this, but Jackie is my sister (and that's even her real name!). She just started her blog today, and although she only has one post, you should all follow her because she is super-duper funny and witty. In fact, I'm a little bit threatened by her and her blog, even though I'm the one who told her to start one.


2. Jerry at Gently Said. He just created a special blog wherein to post all his awards (a virtual award shelf, if you will), so I thought he may as well add another one to the heap. Also, he's a really great writer. And he's nice. And I'd like to see him accept this award by completing one of my tasks.


3. Erin at Motherhood Y'all. She's new to the blogger scene and I don't think she's gotten an award yet, so I am very happy to be her first. She's a hard-working mommy blogger who deserves some attention of her own, so here's to you, Erin!


4. Sweet-Britches over at...well, Sweet-Britches. I've known her for a while now, and she is awesome: beautiful, funny, an F1 fanatic, and a certified genius. Pretty much the entire package.


5. Una at The Sassy Curmudgeon. Una was the first blog I ever followed, and I just adore her. She's very busy and important, having 2442 followers as of right now, but I will still bestow an OMB! upon her, just in case she deigns to accept it. Funny, FUNNY gal, that Una.


6. Lucky Punk at Lucky Punk. Yes, she gave me the award today, and I know I'm probably not supposed to give it back, but TECHNICALLY this is a different award. Also, she's an excellent writer and only has seven followers, so you all need to go read what she's got going on over there right NOW!


7. Amanda at Now If You'll Just Turn Your Kaleidoscope....She's funny too. And I know that she'll probably do it, because she just blogged today whilst drinking tequila so she's got a head start!


8. Rainey at A Rainey Day...with a chance of sunshine. Rainey is just incredibly likeable. I want to give her a hug, for some reason. But, since I do not know where she lives, I will just send her this OMB! award instead.



Come and get 'em, everyone! Now, I know that a lot of you recipients have just recently accepted an award, but that's just too bad. You will have to suck it up and accept this one too because that is what happens when people start to love and admire you. I'm looking forward to seeing your acceptance posts!

:)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Warning: Cuteness Overload Ahead!

Since I am tired and have nothing much to say, I will just post pictures I took earlier of my adorable kid.














And, just in case that didn't make your head explode, here's a picture of his little girlfriend:




Sometimes, it's hard to live with all the cuteness in my world.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Get Off My Lawn!!!!

How did my house become the hot spot for all the neighborhood kids? My kid is not even three yet but they all flock here--playing in my yard and relying on me to bring out toys for them to play with and snacks for them to munch on. Perhaps I should never have fed them to begin with, but they all look so needy with their dirty knees and unruly hair.

The main reason such mayhem has been bestowed upon me is probably that my yard extends to a large empty lot on the corner of the street. The lot is situated as such that it is visible from the front porch of practically every house in the neighborhood, so it acts as a magnet when the parents send their children out to play. Observe:




See how all the those houses up on the hill are just peering down at my lot with lust?


Before I had my kid, it was a real pain in the butt since we didn't spend a lot of time outside and I don't really think that my neighbors understood that the lot was technically my yard. Thus, people would come from all around to start games of baseball and soccer right outside my window. One month, we had a couple of 300 lb.+ non-English-speaking men coming over every single day--without so much as a cursory knock on the door, I might add--to play some sort of game where they threw sharpened sticks into the ground. My dogs barked incessantly at them until I finally got up the courage to tell these guys that, actually, this is my yard and I would appreciate it if they would take their game elsewhere. They were surprisingly nice about leaving.

I've spent many an afternoon and evening doing my best Mr. Nebbercracker impression ("Get OFF my LAWN!!!!"), shouting through my window screen for the kids to go away. Yep, I was the grumpy neighborhood lady for a time. It's not like I even have a manicured lawn--I just didn't want them outside of my window. Like I said, the dogs barked. Loudly. Until the kids left.

Since the kid has come into the picture, I've mellowed out considerably--he's gotta have friends, after all. I've even come to hope that the neighborhood kids are in my yard when we come home from an outing, because then my kid will have someone to play with. For the most part, they are pretty well-behaved and fun to be around.

I took my laptop outside today and recorded a little video to show how incredibly popular my house has become. Please excuse the way I look--I have a cold and the sun was shining very brightly in my eyes.

video

I have no idea who that teenager with the baby is. Today is the first time I've seen her, but I gave them a toy we were going to give to Goodwill so, saved me a trip!

Also given away today: 7 bags of fruit snacks, 6 cups of water, 8 packs of smarties, and one Toy Story DVD. At least they're helping to de-clutter my house!

The best part about knowing all these children is that now I don't feel as bad when I yell at them to get away from my house. Fruit snacks are a valuable currency for kids--they'll so almost anything for a fruit snack. Kind of like Sea Lions with fish...or dogs with milk bones. Too bad I didn't learn this lesson a few years ago--it sure would have been useful!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Does this lack of wisdom teeth make me look dumber?

So, as you may have surmised by my lack of blogging, I went ahead and got my wisdom teeth out on Friday. Not sure what they sedated me with for the surgery (twilight, maybe?), but I can actually remember parts of the procedure. I didn't feel any pain, but I have definite memories of the tools going in and a tooth coming out. NOT pleasant!

Coming to was a long drawn-out process, and I was in and out of consciousness until the evening. The hubby did a great job at taking care of me! He got my medications and made sure I took them on time, prepared soft meals for me, and even fetched me a giant cherry slushy from Sonic. What a nice man I have! :)

On Saturday, the hubby was out buying me mashed potatoes and ice cream (good for teeth--not so much for hips, I'm finding), and I got a funny call from a pharmacy worker:

CVS GUY: Can I speak with TB?

Me:
That's me.


CVS Guy: Um, were you in here recently?

Me: Well, actually, I wasn't, but I had my wisdom teeth out yesterday and my husband went in and got my medications for me...

CVS Guy: Yeah...I have your teeth in a bag.

Me: Oh...well...that's embarrassing! I was looking for those. I'll have my husband come by and get them. Thanks!

CLICK


Yeah, I wouldn't want to find a stranger's teeth either. Mine even gross me out.


Luckily, the hubby was near the pharmacy when I called him and was able to swing right by to pick up my bag o' teeth. My post-op instructions (with my name and address on them) were in there too! Up until that point, I was just wingin' it with whatever instructions the hubby remembered, which he did uncharacteristically well.

All-in-all, this experience has not been so bad. I'm taking penicillin every 6 hours, which is a big pain in the butt, but it actually got rid of my sore throat, so SCORE! I thought I'd feel like getting out today, but as I was about to leave the house my mouth started to throb with nauseating pain, so I just sent out the hubby and the kid instead. At least I get a little quiet time...and more mashed potatoes when they get home. :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

To pull, or not to pull? That is the question...

I can't figure out whether I should get my wisdom teeth out today or not.

I've had the appointment for a month or so now, but in the last couple days I've acquired a sore throat that's been getting progressively worse. It's making me gag now, and I kind of think I may have a fever, but eh, who knows, maybe I'm just imagining that part.

It may not seem like a big deal to reschedule, but the hubby's work schedule rarely permits him to have a weekday off with another day off after that to take care of me, so I may be putting it off for longer than I'd like. Also, and I know this sounds REALLY dumb to those of you who don't have kids, I'm excited to have some time to myself when I don't have to look after the kid. It's kind of silly that I need surgery to get a vacation, but I guess that's what you sign up for when you become a mom.

Complicating matters further is the fact that I don't want to go to my GP to get my throat looked at. The last time I was there was when I was going through the testing to be a kidney donor and I ended up getting in a shouting match (and nearly a physical fight) with the phlebotomist. She was really mean and rude and by the time I left the office, the entire staff had heard our argument. EMBARRASSING! Plus, if I have to get any blood work done, there is NO WAY I am letting that lady near me with a needle. So, I'm thinking that maybe the antibiotics they give me for my teeth will fix my throat too. I know it's a long-shot.

Maybe I'll just go and see if they think I'm well enough to go through with it. There's a plan. If you don't hear from me right away, they took them out. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I'm old.

Thank god for DVR. Otherwise I'd have to sit through the entire American Idol results show, with the excruciatingly cheesy group numbers and Seacrest's long, uncomfortable, dramatic pauses. Why is this results show an hour long??? They could do the whole thing start to finish during a commercial break for Glee.


Just put us out of our misery! This group rendition of "Walkin' On Sunshine" is only twisting the damn knife!


St. Patrick's Day is stupid now. I never really was a big fan, but now that I have the kid, I just want to stay locked up in my house all day and avoid the drunk drivers. Eggs and Kegs is a big thing around here, where people go out on the morning of St. Patty's to drink beer and eat breakfast. Seriously? That didn't even appeal to me when I was 21. I like corned beef and cabbage, but not enough to brave the crowds of any place that would be serving it. God, I'm old.

I am such a bad procrastinator that I have procrastinated entertaining myself. I want to watch a movie on Netflix, but it's already 9:14 and I don't know whether it's even worth it now. Did I mention that I'm old?

OMG, I just saw the girl who played Nicole's best friend Shelby on My Two Dads doing an Arby's commercial. I don't know who I'm more embarrassed for: her, that she's resorted to fast food commercials, or myself for recognizing her.


I love Jamoca Shakes!


Ok, I'm going to cuddle up under a blanket and watch Postcards from the Edge now, at least until I fall asleep. I think I may have mentioned it, but this seals the deal: I'm old.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I'm no psychic, but...

California is so about to fall into the Pacific.

I woke up to many of my Los Angeles Facebook friends talking about the earthquake they felt last night. Upon Googling "Los Angles Earthquake", I found this:

Recent earthquakes near Los Angeles, California

Time Magnitude Location
4 hours ago 4.4 Greater Los Angeles area, California Map
Yesterday 3.0 Northern California Map
2 days ago 4.2 Southern California Map
earthquake.usgs.gov


Yeah, Southern California didn't just have an earthquake last night, they also had one two days ago, of about the same magnitude. And Northern California had one yesterday.

Now, I understand that all these earthquakes are not centered in the same spot, and I am no seismologist, but I know a trend when I see one. With all the Earthquakes going on all over the world, it would seem that our Earth is angry about something and the tectonic plates are shifting on a much more regular and violent basis. A 4.4 earthquake is nothing to laugh at, but it's certainly not what one would expect after the devastation in Chile and Haiti. This got me thinking: what if these are all just foreshocks?

So, I googled "aftershocks and foreshocks" which brought me to the US Geological Survey Earthquake Hazards Program page. The information there basically says that some earthquakes which are thought of as the "main event" actually end up being foreshocks when a much larger quake strikes soon after. They had a nifty chart to share, too:





So, my theory is that these little guys are actually foreshocks to a much larger event* and that Californians should be prepared for the worst--which may or may not require wetsuits and flotation devices. You can't say you weren't warned!


*Earthquakes cannot yet be predicted by scientists or hack bloggers such as myself. This theory was thought up as a result of no caffeine in my system and an unhealthy facebook/news/google addiction.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Happy Daylight Savings Time!

I am tired. Daylight savings time sucks. I'm just trying to be nice and optimistic in my title, there ^.

Why is it that you can't see DST on your cable schedule? Shouldn't it skip from 2 to 3am? Because it DOESN'T. And in the Fall, 1am doesn't appear twice, either. I know this because I always scroll forward to check. Many times, I have tried to stay up until 2 to see what happens, but I never make it. It's like waiting for Santa, but more magical, because DST is REAL.

My day was good. I gave blood at my church's blood drive, went out to Mexican food, came home and took a nap, played with the kid outside, and blogged about courtesy. Good stuff.



On the topic of giving blood, I used to do it every six weeks back when we lived in California, and I think I may start again. Although the needles and light-headedness are not entirely pleasant, the free Oreos, pretzels, and soda make it totally worth it. Oh, and the feeling that I've done something good for mankind is good too. If you are eligible, I highly recommend it. To find a Red Cross blood donation center in your area, click here.

Off to find something light to eat for dinner. I think I hit my daily calorie intake about halfway through lunch. Cereal it is!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Don't hate me because I love Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart is alright by me. I know that, as a good liberal democrat, I'm supposed to hate it, but I just can't.

I took the kid grocery shopping yesterday and we went to Super Target, which is right by Super Wal-Mart, because I was trying my best to hate Wal-Mart. You know what happened? I was only able to get about 70% of the things on my list because Target didn't even
carry some of my necessities. Downy refill, in the environmentally-friendly cardboard carton? Nope. Glade air freshener, that's like Febreeze, but smells better? Nope. Whole-wheat egg noodles? No way, Jose. The list goes on.

After much frustration, I checked out and we headed next door to Super Wal-Mart to finish off my shopping. Not only did they have all the things I needed, but I also discovered that they had the things I already bought at Target, but at lower prices. I am done trying to force myself to hate Wal-Mart. I can't afford to take that stance.


I honestly don't understand why so many people who are anti-Wal-mart still stop at Target. Aren't they both big box stores? Don't they both pay pretty crappy? I just don't get it. These days, I see nearly as many Targets as I see Wal-Marts popping up, so they are both peppering the landscape with their unattractive facades and crowded parking lots. I do concede that, in many cases, Target stores seem to be better maintained than their Wal-Mart counterparts, but once that toilet paper and those socks leave the store, there's no telling where they came from. And I can buy more toilet paper and socks if I buy them at Wal-Mart.

That is all. I will get off my soap box now.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I'm a nagging mom. Transcript time.

Me: You ready for your nap?

Kid: I don't wanna take a NAP!

Me: Ok, then, go clean up your toys and we'll go to Wal-mart

Kid: O-KAY. Jeez, Mom. You makin' me so TIRED.



This has been my day. I have been trying to get the kid to clean up his train toys for...oh...four or five hours now? I figure maybe I'll wear him down eventually to where he'll either (a) clean it up or (b) take a nap. Either way, score!

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be working. He actually seems more hyper than normal. I really want to take a nap too, dang it. That last blog post kept me up way too late and the hubby won't be home from work until much later than normal tonight, so this will be my one chance to rejuvenate. I would never actually slip him the Nyquil or Benadryl, but it's tempting!

Here's a little transcript for now:



Hey, hey! Those bad guys! Pey-ow! (shooting his ball nerf gun at the wall)

(humming)

Shoot em. Shoot.

(throws gun. Sits down to pick up a glow bracelet, which was hiding amongst the train tracks.)

Mom. Why you get...uh...why you...Mom! I put this on, Mom! I put this on all by myself, Mom! I put this on!

Me: you did?

Yeah, look! So I can't eat have popcorn or have a fun boat mom. Dad said I can't have fun boat.

Ahhhh! (pretends to eat train tracks)

Good idea, good idea

Look! (shows me he's eating the train tracks)

Me: What are you eating?

This.

Me: Go put it away or you're gonna take a nap right now.

OKAY, MOM!

Where train go in? It go in this! (finds the box) It goes in this it goes in this it goes in this....(in a sing-song voice)

(putting the train tracks into his Halloween pumpkin, then dumping them into the box in which they belong)

More and more and more. And more and more and more. (he really does have a lot of tracks to pick up)

I helpin' mom!

Me: Awesome!

Too much energy. Too much energy for me! Too much energy.



Well, at least he did about half the job. I'm off to help him with the rest and either put him down for a nap or take him to finish our grocery shopping. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The soundtrack of my childhood

I was sitting here on the couch this evening, channel surfing, and I came upon a show called "One Hit Wonders" on VH1 Classic. If you do not know about this channel and are a child of the 80's, you are missing out. VH1 Classic is basically VH1 from 25 years ago, when they only played music. In the mornings they have a show called "Totally 80's" that is just like stepping back in time: all 80's music videos. It's a channel after my own heart.

When I was a child, we did not have MTV, but we did have VH1, and I watched it constantly. I think the fact that I watched adult-contemporary music videos on a loop throughout my formative years really shaped my taste for music today. As a little treat (or torture, depending on how similar our tastes in music happen to be), I have decided to take you, blog reader, on a musical tour of my childhood. Sit back and prepare to be entertained, courtesy of my 30 year-old brain and Youtube!


One of my earliest childhood memories was watching The Muppet Show...in fact, I am told by my mother that my first word was, "mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmuppets!" When I was three years old, we lived in a small blue house in Springfield, MO, and we had an 8-Track of The Muppets Christmas. I'm not sure if we only listened to it at Christmas time or if it was a year-round treat, but I do remember singing this with my parents and older sister in rounds, just like the Muppets did:



The Muppets and John Denver, "Christmas Is Coming"


I'm not sure if my mom was a big Air Supply fan, or if it was just what happened to be on the radio at the time, but I grew to love them. As I got older and started to listen to the lyrics, this song stood out to me, in particular. It contains the beautiful lines, "Every time I see you the rays of the sun are streaming through the waves in your hair; and every star in the sky is taking aim at your eye like a spotlight". Now THAT'S poetry!



"Making Love Out of Nothing at All" by Air Supply



Ah, Kenny and Dolly. Need I say more?



"Islands in the Stream" by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton




When I was six or so, my family somehow ended up coming home from my grandma's Christmas with Cyndi Lauper's She's So Unusual on cassette. None of us remember getting it as a gift, but we began listening to it right away and memorizing all the songs. We had dance contests in our bedroom with the kids in the neighborhood to these songs. Cute visual, right? Especially when you take into account that one of our favorite songs was this one, which I learned MUCH later in life, is actually a song about masturbation. Who knew?



"She Bop" by Cyndi Lauper



Speaking of inappropriate songs, "Like a Virgin" was one of mine and my sisters' favorites. I remember singing along with it once and asking my mom the dreaded question she was waiting to hear" "What's a virgin?". She told us it was a bird, and we believed her. Actually, for an embarrassing number of years, I believed her. Since Youtube has disabled embedding for that particular video, here is another inappropriate song that holds a special place in my heart. The melody is incredibly catchy, even if we were embarrassed to sing it around my parents.



"Naughty Girls Need Love Too" by Samantha Fox


The first cassette tape I ever bought with my own money was Bon Jovi New Jersey. We quickly added those songs to our selections for the dance contests, even if they weren't all quite dance material.



"I'll Be There for You" by Bon Jovi



When I was seven or so, my parents separated and my dad moved out. I remember vividly sitting on my suitcase in front of the TV, waiting for my dad to pick me up and watching this video:



"We Built This City" by Starship



My best friend Marlene kept telling me that she wanted me to see this movie about cats that was on TV. She was SO excited about it, and I had no clue what she was talking about. Until, one day, I was watching VH1 with her and this video came on. Turns out she didn't quite understand the difference between videos and movies yet, but she did have good taste in music (or at least, I thought so at the time).



"Bad Boys" by Gloria Estefan



This was another one of those videos I sat around for hours waiting for it to come on. There is just something about this song that hit me "right there", you know? Truthfully, it still does it for me, and I consider it my favorite song of all-time. Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Elton John...



"I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues" by Elton John



This song "got me right there" too...still does a little bit. Something in the hook just does it for me. I think it's a combination of great lyrics and an exceedingly catchy melody, but I still get giddy when I listen to this one.



"Freedom" by Wham!



Speaking of George Michael--that was some transformation, wasn't it? One minute, he's bopping around in high-tops and neon, and the next he's sexy with scruff and torn blue jeans. I believe that "I Want Your Sex" came out first, and my sisters and cousins sang along with it to the radio, changing the word from "sex" to "socks" and making up some new words so as not to embarrass ourselves in front of our parents: "I don't want your bra, or your stinky underwear, I want your socks". Yes, I was a songwriter at an early age. The Faith video was a little bit of a sexual awakening for me--I had a big ol' crush on George Michael.



"Faith" by George Michael


Can we talk Tiffany? I loved her. She and Debbie Gibson were like my idols. Although my family lived in small-town Missouri, and we never had a chance to make it to any of the many mall shows these teen idols played, I still listened to their tapes over and over and over. Even though I had never had a boyfriend, and had yet to have my heart broken, I felt like Tiffany was preparing me for that experience with her gut-wrenching ballads.



"All This Time" by Tiffany


Around the turn of the decade, The Party stole my heart. Confession: I was a HUGE Disney nerd, before it was really the popular thing to be. When I was a kid, none of my classmates watched Disney as loyally as I did. Marlene and I would race home from school every day to catch the end of Kids Incorporated, followed by our favorite: The Mickey Mouse Club, or MMC as it came to be known later on. I had every single episode of the MMC memorized, and I could probably still recite the lineup today, if pressed. I was obsessed beyond obsessed, writing fan letters and the whole she-bang. My dream of dreams at the time was to make it to Orlando, so that I could sit in the audience for a live taping of the show.

When Disney realized what a cash cow they were sitting on and decided to capitalize by putting together a pop group, I was right there waiting to buy into it. The result was The Party, whom I followed loyally for the whole three years and four albums, until they broke up in 1993. I listened to each song about a million times, learning every single note, word, and intonation until I could sing them perfectly. I even made poor Marlene do the same thing, basically torturing her with my powder blue radio/tape player. Here is a small sampling of what a corner of my brain sounds like, to this day:



"Summer Vacation" by The Party




"In My Dreams" by The Party




"Free" by The Party


As the TV show Blossom was popular at the time, Marlene and I also became unhealthily obsessed with Joey "Whoa" Lawrence. When I say it was unhealthy, I mean that his shiny, flowing locks and ripped jeans blinded us to the fact that we were listening to THIS crap over and over:



"Nothin' My Love Can't Fix" by Joey Lawrence


Mr. Big ushered in a new era for me. The Party was over (thanks for coming), and I was forced to mature in my listening habits. I bought the single for "To Be With You" and memorized it as I was wont to do. One of my fondest memories of that time was turning the song all the way up, as loud as it could go, and dancing around my room with Marlene, singing it, as well as the B-side track (an unreleased ditty called "Green-Tinted Sixties Mind") at the top of our lungs. Man, we had fun.



"To Be With You" by Mr. Big


Of course, this is only a small smattering of my musical memories, up to about age 12. When I became a teenager, my parents had divorced, my dad re-married, but my musical tastes didn't change much. It wasn't until my older sister introduced me to grunge and then a classmate introduced me to Jewel, that I really matured musically. Maybe one day I'll blog about that too, but since it's 12:41 in the morning, I think that will have to be left for another day. I hope you've enjoyed this stroll through my memory as much as I have. Goodnight!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Living vicariously through movies

It is quite obvious to anyone who knows me that I have an unhealthy obsession with movies. I watch the same ones over and over, finding comfort in the familiar scenes and settings, the dialogue and the actors. Sometimes, if I'm feeling down, the best medicine is to watch Music and Lyrics or Anywhere But Here: movies make me feel better.

I can trace this obsession with movies back to when I was a little girl and my sisters and I would watch the same movies on tape until they wore out. My best friend, Marlene* would come over every day and want to watch
Girls Just Want to Have Fun, and I do mean LITERALLY every day. If you were to pop that VHS tape into a VCR today, all you would see is faint outlines of pink clothes and big hair, barely visible through the fuzz. We also knew each and every word of dialogue in Pee Wee's Big Adventure, Footloose, Dirty Dancing, Pretty Woman, Rad, Heathers, and several episodes of Fairy Tale Theater.

Don't get me wrong, we also played outside, but we probably spent an unhealthy amount of time watching movies and television. This has obviously carried over into my adult life, as I have hundreds of DVD's and watch at least one a day. Granted, a lot of the movies I watch with the kid, but I try and sneak in one of my favorites here and there. In fact, I've gotten him to become a big fan of The Wizard of Oz, which I consider a major victory, as it's definitely one the top ten best films of all time.

When I say that I live vicariously through movies, I'm only sort of kidding. This is where this unhealthy part of my obsession comes in. I'm a little embarrassed to admit it, but whenever I'm out living my life, doing any number of things, lots of times I think, "Oh! I want to go home and watch the movie about this!" For example, last summer I was at a baseball game. Beautiful evening, great company, good food--I was actually having a really good time. Then I started to think, "Man, I'd really like to go home and watch The Rookie right now." Yeah. I know...unhealthy, right? Why wouldn't I want to be there, living in the moment? Why would I rather go home and watch a movie about baseball than actually sit and enjoy the baseball that was right in front of me?


The worst part is that movies always end up setting one up for failure. People in movies are always more beautiful than those you meet in real life, and the situations they live in are always more glamorous than the way people actually live. I was just watching Marley and Me, and I was thinking how I would like to move to Florida (movies always make me want to move), so I started looking up crime indexes, and rent costs for different cities. How the hell did they have such a nice house in that movie on one salary? Ok, I understand he was a locally famous newspaper columnist, but, seriously?

And then they moved to Pennsylvania and lived in a giant old carriage house with a barn and a horse, wood floors, and stone walls? Are you kidding me? He was a reporter! For a newspaper! And the wife didn't even work! What's that all about?

I am sorry to say that movies have sometimes made me make major life decisions, too. When we lived in Santa Monica, and I was watching American Beauty every day, I suddenly decided that I wanted to move to a tree-lined street and become a Realtor, like Annette Benning's character. How sick is that? Her character was miserable, but there was something very appealing to me about her job, the way she prepared for that open house by cleaning and putting up signs. Truth is, I actually followed through with this silly plan, moved back up to Sacramento with the hubby, and became a Realtor. I am sorry to say that I was not successful in the real estate business, and I quit before I ever even made a sale.

Very often, the hubby and I will be watching a movie set on a coast or in a New England town, and we'll automatically start trying to figure out how to move there. Is Blue Crush or 50 First Dates on? We'll be trying to move to Hawaii within the next few hours.

The whole experience often leaves me feeling a bit empty and sad about my own life. Why do these characters get to live in such wonderful locales and wear such adorable clothing with perfect hair and makeup, even first thing in the morning? My life sucks!


To be fair, I also very much enjoy the more gritty, realistic films, in the vein of Alexander Payne. Sideways, Election, and About Schmidt are all amazingly realistic, with flawed heroes and who live in cluttered homes and drive older cars with dirty windshields, but I can still find elements of these movies that I can escape in. Even mundane lives seem more appealing when played out on the big screen.

I'm sure I'm not the only person who feels this way about movies--in fact, I'm pretty sure that movies are meant to make us feel this way. It's not like I want to get rid of my movie addiction, but I do realize that my obsession borders on unhealthy. Oh well. At least I'm not looking to movies like Requiem For A Dream or A Clockwork Orange for inspiration. *shrug*.


*Not her real name

Friday, March 5, 2010

The best kind of day and Romeo pt. 2

This is the best kind of day. I just love it.

The weather has finally warmed up a *wee bit* after what has felt like the longest freeze EVER. I took the kid to the park yesterday and today to soak up some sun and enjoy the temperatures in the 50's.

I have all my window shades open and a couple of windows cracked (gasp!) so our home no longer smells stuffy and like dogs, but like fresh air and sunshine. Ah.

The hubby is outside right now with the kid, replacing a headlight on our car and I have a little time to myself to catch up on my Real Housewives and The View watching. It's amazing how much larger our house seems when you include the yard. Truth be told, we hardly ever use our yard, because it's not fenced and totally exposed to the neighborhood. I'd love to get a swing set, but I worry about liability, so the kid sticks to the basics: ball, tag, frisbee, tricycle. We're very lucky to have a neighborhood with lots of children, most of whom don't mind playing with a 2 year old, even though they are much older.

I know that soon Mother Nature is going to take this beautiful weather away from us, so for now I will just try and appreciate every moment of it. Lovely-ness.

Oh, I should also mention that "Romeo" came back today. Yep. The dog came back...he just wouldn't stay away. I couldn't believe it. The kid was asleep in his room and both dogs were on the couch with me when I heard a scratching on my back door. I got up to look and--lo and behold--there was the same brown chihuahua that I brought to the pound earlier this week. He had opened the back door and was jumping to get in, pining for Daisy all the while.

I put him back outside and locked the door, sure that he would go home since he obviously lives near. This dog is smarter than he looks. After being locked out of the back, he came around to the front and jumped and scratched at the door, driving me quietly mad. What the HECK?

Unfortunately, the owners did not attach a name tag to his collar, even after picking him up at the pound (?????), so I called animal control again and asked for the name and phone number of the owner. Luckily, they were out looking for their dog and they pulled right up in front of our house. The owner said that the li'l guy opened their screen door (three blocks away) by himself, and they would get an ID tag right away. I told her I'd keep her name and number, just in case.

Oh, and if you were wondering, I found out Romeo's real name. It's Shredder. :)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Holy balls!

Today I've felt a little antsy to get the house in order, even though the majority of my Spring Cleaning will be done when I can finally open the windows without freezing my booty off. I started by doing a little organizing around my computer, throwing away lots of scrap paper and candy wrappers, mostly.

The kid decided that he really wanted to play with his hot wheels set, but couldn't find a car. The most logical place I could think to look was under the couch, so I decided to clean under there next. I did eventually find three hot wheels for him to play with, but only after clearing out copious amounts of paper, balls, McDonald's toys, balls, snack bowls, balls, old cocoa puffs, and balls.

Did I mention balls?

TWENTY balls I pulled out from under the couch. Twenty-one if you count the acorn we brought home last fall, which I do (see it on top of the pile there, in front?). Those green ones go to a Nerf gun, and I am pretty sure there are at least five more of them behind the television, where they were shot and never retrieved. I'll save that job for when the windows go up, as I'm sure the dust which will be stirred will cause my allergies to go nuts.

Anyway, just wanted to share. I have to go--I hear the kid crunching on the four-month old cocoa puffs--definitely not healthy.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Romeo the Chihuahua

Well, this has been an interesting day!

On the way out of the house today, I noticed a tiny chihuahua barking at me from my neighbor's yard. Since he wasn't wearing a shock collar I knew he didn't belong to them
(I know, right???), so I knelt down and called him over. He didn't come right away, but was very shy--tip-toeing around the perimeter of my car to meet me only after he could tell I wasn't going to eat him.

Some other neighbors walking by witnessed this whole scenario and let me know that they'd seen that same dog out yesterday and they'd keep him if they could catch him. Once I did actually "catch" him, here's what I observed:

- male
- intact
- brown and tan in color
- most likely pure-bred
- expensive-looking leather collar with bone shaped studs
- long fingernails with remnants of blue nail polish
- skinny, with his ribs showing

Clearly this dog was loved, or possibly over-loved (Nail polish on a dog? Really?) but either way, he had an owner. Nobody would abandon a toy chihuahua without at least taking off his collar.

I let the li'l guy into my house. Vinnie and Daisy nipped at him excitedly as I took some leftover brisket out of the refrigerator for him to eat. Just as I expected: he wolfed it down. Poor thing.

And then, the humping began. As this dog had not been neutered, he had a *ahem* healthy sexual appetite, and his sights were set on Daisy. This dog was probably about a third Daisy's size, but he would not give up, chasing her around the house until he had her cornered on the couch. Vinnie swooped in, in what I thought was an attempt to rescue his sister, but it turned out that he just wanted to hump the chihuahua, proving once again what we have always thought: Vinnie is gay.

In an effort to break up the K-9 orgy (and to preserve my child's innocence), I locked Daisy on the back porch. Unfortunately, the kid had seen it all, and he had questions.


Kid: Why Daisy on back porch?

Me
: Because that chihuahua kept hum--because he wants to marry Daisy.


Kid: He want to marry her?

Me
: Yes. But she doesn't like him. So I have to keep them separate.


Kid:
Aww, that so cute!


Apparently, my kid is quite the romantic, because as I sat down at the computer to make my way through the Craigslist and Petfinder "lost" ads, he opened the porch door and let Daisy out. I tried to keep them separated, but by the third time the kid opened the door I gave up.

I had a chiropractor appointment at 12:30, so I took the dog back outside and left him there, hoping he'd go home. We watched him jump about four feet in the air, looking through the windows on my back door as we backed out of the driveway.

On our way out, I carefully inspected every light post and sidewalk, hoping to see a flyer or a search party, but...nothin'.

About an hour later, we pulled up to the front of the house to get the mail, only to be greeted by a barking brown blur. It's like he decided that he lived here and had begun to stand guard. What the heck?

Since he clearly wasn't going anywhere, I let the poor thing in and pondered my next step. Should I put up fliers? Give him a bath? Go door to door? Call the shelters? My first step was to call the neighbors (well, the ones I knew) and ask if any of them could tell me whose dog this was. Neither of them did.

Then, I took pictures of the cutie. I mean, maybe I would put up fliers, maybe not, but either way I want pictures, damn it!






This dog was very difficult to hold down!

Next logical step was to post pictures of the dog on facebook and brag about being able to spend the afternoon with such adorableness and ask the opinions of my friends. Unfortunately, nobody was online to share in my excitement, so I looked up the number for animal control.

The man on the other end was very nice and told me that nobody had called up or come in looking for a dog that fit this one's description yet, but that they could come and pick up the dog.

Me: Oh, well...can I bring him in? (I have this fear that if animal control comes to my house they will take my dogs too)

Him: Yes, you can do that.

Me: Well, what time do you close?

Him: 4:30.

Me: Well, maybe I'll just wait a little bit longer and see if there's anyone out in my neighborhood looking for him before I bring him in...you guys won't, like, destroy him if nobody picks him up, will you?

Him: No, no, we don't do that here. We will keep him for a few days and then if nobody comes to get him then we'll move him to a shelter where he can be adopted out.

Whew! That was a relief! Why was I even considering finding the owner myself if they can hold him for me? I decided to keep him here a little bit longer, like I said. I headed out to the living room to cuddle the sweet dog when I walked in on him, once again, taking advantage of Daisy. This time, he had her on the ottoman, and there was a mysterious liquid sprinkled around them.

Me: Get on your shoes! We're taking this dog to the pound!

So, that was the end of our day with poor little Romeo. When I got back from surrendering him, one of my facebook friends pointed out that "they just tell you that they won't destroy them, but really they will if they can't find the owner". I would normally believe this guy, because his dad is a veterinarian, but honestly, this dog is not in danger. Even if his family doesn't seek him out (which I doubt), I'm sure he'll be swept up on his first day in the shelter. What pet-seeker could pass up this face?

Sayanora, li'l guy. Have a great life.
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